biomagnification

play
noun bio·mag·ni·fi·ca·tion \ ¦bī-(ˌ)ō-ˌmag-nə-fə-¦kā-shən \

Definition of biomagnification

:the process by which a compound (such as a pollutant or pesticide) increases its concentration in the tissues of organisms as it travels up the food chain
  • In a process known as biomagnification, fish accumulate mercury more rapidly than they excrete it, and every fish up the aquatic food chain contains more than the one it just ate.
  • —Bronwyn GarrityVogueMay 2009

biomagnify

play \¦bī-(ˌ)ō-¦mag-nə-ˌfī\ verb, transitive + intransitive, biomagnified; biomagnifying; biomagnifies
    • In addition, litter leaches toxins into the water and soil. These toxins can be biomagnified, meaning the pollutant is concentrated ten times with each step up in the food chain from plankton to humans.
    • —Jennifer Fankhauser, Kern Valley Sun (Lake Isabella, California)1 Aug. 2012
    • Mercury is a persistent contaminant that biomagnifies up the food web, causing mortality, reproductive failure, and other health effects in predatory wildlife and humans …
    • —Daniel A. Cristol et al.Science18 Apr. 2008

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First Known Use of biomagnification

1969


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